Commercial truck drivers who are not getting adequate rest put the lives of everyone on the road at risk of drowsy-driving-related accidents. Since truck drivers keep long and varied hours, it’s essential to be as alert as possible while out on the road. Be proactive at ending drowsy driving and get the quality rest you need with these four tips for a good night’s sleep:
Pick a Restful Environment
Find a place that’s conducive to helping your body truly rest and get quality sleep. First and foremost, park in a rest stop or other safe area where you feel comfortable in your surroundings and can truly relax. Make your sleep area as dark and quiet as possible – any light or noise can make it more challenging to get into a deep sleep. Ensure your truck sleeper is set at a cool temperature, which has been found to help with more restful sleep.
Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine, in the hours leading up to your sleep time. These substances can stay in your system so even if their effects wear off and you physically feel tired, you may still end up tossing and turning, or getting interrupted or light sleep. Enact a cut-off time for stimulants, preferably four hours or so before bedtime, so you can more easily fall and stay asleep.
Communicate Your Sleep Schedule
It can be frustrating to fall asleep only to be awakened by people trying to reach you for information that is not time-sensitive. Prevent this by letting your trucking company and your family and friends know your sleep schedule so they know not to contact you during that time block unless it’s an emergency.
Create a Relaxing Routine
No matter how exhausted you are, it’s not easy to just flip an internal switch and go from focusing on the road to having restful sleep. Prep your body for sleep with a routine that winds you down and eases you into sleep mode, such as washing your face, putting on comfortable clothes, dimming the lights, and enjoying a relaxing activity (like reading a good book/magazine or listening to soothing music). If you consistently engage in the same routine, your body will get into the habit of associating it with sleep time, and fall asleep faster.
Get your next driving opportunity by working with Contracted Driver Services. We are a transportation-specialized staffing firm that has served over 500 transportation and supply chain companies since 2001. With CDS, you have access to a variety of CDL jobs so you can find the ones that fit your needs and preferences. Search our listing of available jobs to get started with CDS.